The Spiritual Journey of A Perfect Cry
By David Carr, Long Beach Magazine
LONG BEACH, Ca., Sept. 27, 2006 (www.longbeachmagazine.com) - If you are looking for rock music with a spiritual pinch as well as a musical one, The Perfect Cry might just be the perfect soundtrack to your journey.
Hugh van der Linden is a humble individual, but he is passionate about his faith and passionate about the music made by his Christian rock band. The underlying theme of The Perfect Cry is “faith” - in particular, that of the Catholic Church.
In 2003, van der Linden was given the opportunity to oversee the music for the mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Long Beach.
“I have been doing music all my life and I have always been involved in the church,” van der Linden said. “St. Joseph’s gave me full control of the music, and I ran with it.”
Van der Linden recruited a couple of singers from the church and musicians whom he had been friends with, and The Perfect Cry was born. With van der Linden on guitar, the members include Patrick Rowan on drums, Steve McNeal on bass, R. Scott on keyboards, and Autumn van der Linden on vocals. The group is currently seeking a new vocalist.
The band plays at Christian music festivals and coffee houses but their standing gig is every Sunday at St. Joseph’s, to a packed congregation. The average attendance of the service has grown from 80 to 300, thanks in part to the band’s interpretation of traditional religious songs and prayers as the slip in an original tune or two.
“We have been able to re-arrange some Christian songs and do them with bluesy or rock feel, such as ‘Amazing Grace,’ but we also do contemporary Christian rock tunes,” Van der Linden says.
Faith and guitar licks collide on the bands latest disc, 'Touching the Stars' on Soulstatic Records, recorded at Mambo Studios in Long Beach. The disk is a mix of what some might call adult/alternative rock. Autumn’s plaintive voice harks back to a simpler time as she breathes through the collection’s title track and “Sliding.” Van der Linden served as the chief songwriter and producer.
Van der Linden said that some folks are put off when he tells them that he is in a Christian rock band.
“We really do not push a Catholic doctrine,” he says. “Some of our songs have a direct religious theme, but most of our songs deal with an optimistic, spiritual vibe.”
The Perfect Cry is looking forward to playing more coffeehouses and bars this summer. When asked if he foresees any trouble trying to get his Christian rockers booked at clubs, van her Linden smiles.
“I’ve thought about it, but I don’t think it will be a problem,” he says. “We are walking an interesting tightrope with what we do, but we want the music to be accessible to a wide audience without offending anyone, we are not about shoving religion down anyone’s throats. At the same time, we are about spreading a positive vibe with a spiritual message in our music.”
Click here to listen to the music of "The Perfect Cry."